Consuming Spirits

Consuming Spirits

USA, 2012, 134 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subject: Americana
Program: New Directors Showcase
Language: English

It took experimental filmmaker Chris Sullivan nearly 15 years to complete Consuming Spirits, a meticulously crafted film shot frame by frame with collage, cutout, pencil drawing, and stop-motion animation. The oddly drawn characters live in Gardener’s Corners, a dark and dysfunctional Appalachian town. Sullivan’s three protagonists—Gentian Violet, a bus-driving journalist; Earl Gray, a radio talk-show host; and Victor Blue, a meek newspaperman—share dark secrets from their pasts as well as their daily lives.

When Gentian kills a nun with her bus and covers up the crime, she sets into motion a series of events that eventually connect the three characters in a carefully plotted story line. She and Victor moonlight as a musical duet, but they spend their days reporting for the town’s only newspaper, The Daily Suggester. Earl writes a column for the paper, too, but the words he speaks on the radio far surpass his printed output for sheer sensationalism. Earl couches his cynical commentary about the townsfolk in a series of not-so-practical gardening tips. Scenes in the Juice of the Barley Bar find mild-mannered Victor drinking himself to death as he searches for his long-lost father. In the Holy Angels Sanitarium, gun-toting nuns impersonate the patients, blurring the line between sanity and insanity.

Sullivan wrote, directed, drew, photographed, recorded, and even provided some voice-over for Consuming Spirits. He alternates the physical size of his animated characters to inflate and deflate them psychologically. As their mouths jerk open and closed, ghosts and nightmares move in the background to remind them of their crimes. Melancholy music by The Islands of Langerhans enhances the film’s dark tone. Consuming Spirits is a haunting ride for all who take the trip.


Sponsored by:

Click here for Information on Group Rates and Discounts!

DIRECTOR: Chris Sullivan
Producer: Chris Sullivan
Editor: Chris Sullivan
Screenwriter: Chris Sullivan
Cinematographer: Chris Sullivan
Principal Cast: Robert Levy, Nancy Andrews, Chris Sullivan

You might also enjoy...

  • Paradise: Faith

    Paradise: Faith

    Austria , 2012 , 113 min. ENDING Thursday, September 19th at the Sie FilmCenter Anna Maria, a single woman in her 50s, devotes her summer to missionary work in an effort to return Austria back to the path of virtue. Carrying a foot-high statue of the Virgin Mary, she goes door-to-door preaching Catholicism. One day, ... more
  • film/STILL: An Evening with Stacey Steers

    film/STILL: An Evening with Stacey Steers

    90 min. Stacey Steers’s labor-intensive films are composed of thousands of individual, handmade works on paper. Her films have screened at festivals and museums worldwide. She is this year’s recipient of the Denver Film Society's Stan Brakhage Vision Award.... more
  • Pincus


    USA , 2012 , 78 min. After becoming sole caretaker for his Parkinson’s-patient dad, slacker Pincus learns some life lessons despite himself. Director David Fenster drew from his experiences caring for his own father.... more
  • Surviving Life

    Surviving Life

    Czech Republic , 2010 , 105 min. Now 78, the “Animator of Prague,” Jan Svankmajer, uses an innovative mixture of live action and cutout photo animation to explore the vivid fantasy life of a middle-aged clerk who dreams constantly of a beautiful woman dressed in red.... more
August 2016
1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31

Today's Showtimes

Blood Simple
2:00 PM
4:20 PM
Richard Linklater: Dream is Destiny
2:10 PM
4:30 PM
7:10 PM
2:20 PM
4:40 PM
CWBA Presents Strong Sisters: Elected Women in Colorado
6:00 PM
The Lobster
7:00 PM

Hot Tickets

Sign up for our FREE Email Newsletter


CLICK IMAGE for the Member Newsletter

CLICK IMAGE to submit to the Denver Film Festival. 
Withoutabox logos are trademarks of Withoutabox, a DBA of Inc. or its affiliates.

CLICK IMAGE to Renew or Join
Membership Updates and Sign Up

CLICK IMAGE for Information

CLICK IMAGE for more information